GHRG Meeting Reports 2016 – 2018
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The GHRG holds meetings every two months except during the summer. The season begins in September and ends in May. Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held at the Brewers Blackbird Kitchen & Brewery in Ancaster.

Members start to gather around 10:00 am to discuss philately over a cup of coffee. We invite BNA dealers in the region to show their stock. Lunch is served around noon, after which the formal part of the meeting begins with announcements and an auction of donated material. The highlight of the meeting is a talk by an invited speaker. A Show and Tell session at the end of the meeting usually turns up surprising and intriguing items.

Meeting reports

2017 – 2018 Season

Meetings and speakers

Saturday, 26 May 2018
Ken Lemke – “The history and postal history of the Lady Boats”

Saturday, 24 March 2018
Larry Cherns – “Mail Correspondence to and from Dunnville, Ontario, in the 19th and early 20th Centuries”

Saturday, 27 January 2018
Mike Street – “World War I Correspondence from an Ancaster Doctor on the Front Lines to his Family at Home”

Saturday, 25 November 2017
Chris Ellis – “The Mysterious Postal Stationery Card WebbP18b (UX 18a) - New Discovery and Insights”

Saturday, 30 September 2017
Dr. Sam Chiu – “Canada 'C' Force in Hong Kong 1941 - 1945”

Saturday, 26 May 2018 meeting

Although still spring, it felt like summer had finally arrived in south western Ontario as twenty-two GHRG members and guests met on May 26 for the last meeting of the 2017-2018 season. As usual, coffee was ready and waiting when the day began with an informal gathering and philatelic chatter.

With noon approaching and looking forward to another scrumptious lunch from the kitchen of our favourite haunt, the Rousseau House Restaurant, we settled in to eat and begin the afternoon program. The important notice of the day was about BNAPEX 2018, being held in Quebec City September 21-23, which should coincide with the peak foliage period. In any case, we are hoping for a good representation from the Golden Horseshoe Regional Group in Quebec City.

Our speaker for this afternoon was Ken Lemke, who spoke about and illustrated his favourite topic, the history and postal history of the Lady Boats. A fleet of five ocean liners operated by Canadian National Steamship Company from 1928 to 1952, they carried, in addition to passengers, freight and mail. Ken’s main topic, of course, was the mail. It was an interesting presentation and we thank him for it. We also thank Simon Claughton for providing the electronics.

In order not to conflict with the convention, it was decided to delay the first fall GHRG meeting. until October 9. This date, however, is tentative due to major renovations being done at the Rousseau House. At the October meeting, Brian Peters will be our speaker. His topic will be Canadian Revenue stamps.

We are in need of speakers. We can always learn something from you. Whatever format you select is fine, and your topic can range from early to modern BNA philately. Whether stamps or postal history, your presentation will be appreciated. Contact Peter McCarthy at Thank you all, and have a good summer

The stamps we collect for kids at GHRG meetings go to two groups in the Hamilton area. Recently Ken Lemke, on behalf of the GHRG, presented material to Tony Blankenship, who with Brenda Froome coordinates the Hamilton Stamp Club’s youth program. Brenda wasn’t able to be present when the photo was taken. The gentleman in the second photo is Wuchow Than, who coordinates distribution of stamps and supplies - tongs, hinges etc. - to four elementary schools in Hamilton.

Tony Blankenship and Ken Lemke

Tony Blankenship and Ken Lemke

Wuchow Than

Wuchow Than

Saturday, 24 March 2018 meeting

Because of Easter and Passover falling on the last weekend of the month, the March gathering of the GHRG was brought forward to March 24th. One would think there would be an improvement in the weather at the end of March but no, old man winter just kept hanging on.

It was sad to have to report that Betty Beddows, wife of the late stamp dealer John Beddows and co-Hostess with John of BNAPEX 2011 North Bay, passed away on March 17. Betty also looked after the youth table at stamp shows in and around the southern Ontario area. Several regular GHRG members were attending Betty’s memorial service on this day.

The auction is always an interesting portion of GHRG meetings, with the proceeds helping to defray our costs. Thanks to those who provided the material and thanks also to the successful bidders for giving good material a new home.

Our speaker for the afternoon was Larry Cherns, who told us about mail correspondence to and from Dunnville, Ontario, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Thanks, Larry, and thanks once more to Simon Claughton for providing the electronics.

At the May 26th meeting, the last before the summer break, Ken Lemke will present his study of the postal history of the “Lady Boats”, Canadian ships that served many of the Caribbean islands before and during World War II.

We are continually looking for speakers and would like to show a variety of interesting material to our members. We provide the technology at the meetings, and can help you prepare your presentation too. Please contact Peter McCarthy at peter7mcc@gmail.coma> if you would like to help out.

We look forward to seeing you on May 26th at our favourite haunt, The Rousseau House Restaurant in Ancaster. Don’t forget BNAPEX 2018 at Quebec City in September. We would like to see the Golden Horseshoe Regional Group well represented at the convention. It’s a great place to visit, and the host group has lots of interesting activities planned.

Saturday, 27 January 2018 meeting

After the extreme cold of most of January, it felt very much like a spring day on January 27th as the Golden Horseshoe Regional Group gathered for its first meeting of 2018 at the Rousseau House Restaurant. We were greeted with some astounding changes in the decor that added to the normal subjects of conversation. With coffee, cucumber water and plain water always on hand, it wasn’t long before the venue filled. Eventually thirty BNAPSers created a vibrant atmosphere. Among the crowd was Dave Bartlet, BNAPS Vice President Regional Groups, who was visiting family in Toronto and Montreal.

Lunch comes too soon, but is always welcome. BNAPEX 2018 Quebec City this year was at the forefront of announcements. If you haven’t registered yet, it would be a good idea to do it now. It promises to be a good show. Several show and tell items were followed by a real bang-up auction. Thanks to the donors and also to those who provided a new home for the material.

The speaker for the afternoon was Mike Street, who showed and discussed World War I letters and postcards home to his family in Ancaster from Dr. George Devey Farmer, Commanding Officer of the Fifth Field Ambulance and later the No. 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital in France and No. 5 Canadian General Hospital at Liverpool. The research was done through Ancaster’s Fieldcote Museum, which at one time was the home of Dr. Farmer’s brother. It was an interesting presentation of military postal history and insights into the war. Thanks, Mike, and again thanks to Simon Claughton for providing the electronics.

At our next get together on Saturday March 31, the day before Easter, Speaker Larry Cherns will talk about “Mail Correspondence to and from Dunnville, Ontario”.

We have open dates for speakers and there are many interesting subjects yet to be covered, so here is your opportunity to share your philatelic knowledge. Please contact Peter McCarthy at if you have a topic to present to the GHRG.

Saturday, 25 November 2017 meeting

The Golden Horseshoe Regional Group’s last gathering for 2017 took place on November 25, a dull gray day in southwestern Ontario but a good day for driving. The roadwork in Ancaster was finally completed so we didn’t have to take the long detour to the Rousseau House Restaurant. Maybe that was the reason for the good turnout, though it was more than likely that the speaker for the occasion encouraged thirty-two members and guests to gather for a good philatelic day.

We started off in the normal fashion with tea and coffee, browsing through dealer stock, and visiting. There is always some group business to take care of. The two hours to lunch goes by very quickly.

The Rousseau House makes up a special menu for the group which everyone seems to enjoy. After lunch, the more formal portion of the day got under way with announcements. Four new BNAPS books were recently published. You can read about them in BNA Topics, on line through the BNAPS web site, or via the Book Department Listserv emails announcing new books. Everything you need to know about BNAPEX 2018 Quebec City is now online and will be in the next BNA Topics.

Santa came early to the GHRG and left gifts for the members in appreciation for their support over the past year. If you weren’t in attendance at this gathering, you may possibly receive one in January. Be sure to ask Peter McCarthy. Thanks to those who supplied items for the auction and thanks also to those who were successful bidders.

Our speaker for the afternoon was Chris Ellis, whose topic was “The Mysterious Postal Stationery Card WebbP18b (UX 18a) - New Discovery and Insights”. It was a very interesting presentation explaining the minute details about the differences in two cards, the printings and the rarity factors. A great deal of research has gone into this card, and Chris was generous in his acknowledgements. This was a PowerPoint presentation, and we again thank Simon Claughton for providing the electronics.

At our next get together, on January 27, 2018, Speaker Mike Street will present “World War I Correspondence from an Ancaster Doctor on the front lines to his Family at home”. Judges would love Chris and Mike’s titles.

Meanwhile, Season’s Greetings to all!

Saturday, 30 September 2017 meeting

After a good summer, twenty one BNAPSERs and guests came together on Saturday September 30 at the Rousseau House Restaurant in Ancaster for a day of philatelic enjoyment. The weather was fine allowing for pleasant travel.

The morning was spent with coffee recounting summer events, philatelic chatter and looking through dealer stock for elusive treasures. Lunch is always something to look forward to. The restaurant makes up a special menu for the group that is very satisfying.

After lunch, the more structured portion of the day got underway with announcements. Congratulations were offered to those who exhibited at the PHSC Symposium. It was from all accounts a very successful event. BNAPEX 2017 was an excellent show held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Calgary. The venue was great with good lighting, good dealers and very fine exhibits. Congratulations to the organizing committee. It was an excellent convention. The GHRG, by the way, was well represented.

Our speaker for the afternoon was Dr. Sam Chiu and the topic was “Canada 'C' Force in Hong Kong 1941 - 1945”. Sam being an international exhibitor and judge took us through the trials and tribulations of those who were involved in the defense of and eventual capitulation of Hong Kong in World War II. If you have the opportunity to listen to this presentation at some point in the future, I would encourage you to take it. You will find it most enlightening.

Our next gathering will be November 25th and the speaker will be Chris Ellis. The topic is “The Mysterious Postal Stationery Card Webb P18b (UX 18a) New Discoveries and Insights”. The first fifty people to attend the November meeting will receive a gift. We hope to see you there.

2016 – 2017 Season

Meetings and speakers

Saturday, 27 May 2017
Mike Street, on behalf of Owen White – “'Y' Force, The Canadian Army in Jamaica during World War II”

Saturday, 25 March 2017
Stuart Keeley – “Cinderella Labels for Philatelic Exhibitions in Canada between 1925 and 1972”

Saturday, 28 January 2017
Ken Lemke – “Grand Trunk Railway View Cards”

Saturday, 26 November 2016
David McLaughlin – “Proof Material of the Maple Leaf issue of 1897-1898”

Saturday, 17 September 2016
Dr. Sam Chiu – “Postal history of the Chinese Labour Corps”

Saturday, 27 May 2017 meeting

After all the rain and cool weather we have been experiencing, Saturday May 27 was absolutely gorgeous. That, combined with the Royal Philatelic Society’s convention being held in Montreal, was more than likely the reason for many of our regulars not attending this, the last meeting before the summer break. Even so, seventeen of us gathered at our favourite haunt, The Rousseau House Restaurant in downtown Ancaster.

The morning was spent with some very spirited philatelic discussions among several small groups as others went through some dealers’ stock. Of course if you were sitting with Mike Street, birding was also a topic of conversation. Another member, Nick Poppenk, spotted a fox going through the restaurant parking lot as he was coming in. Lunch, it seems, comes all too soon but, if you have never been to a GHRG meeting, believe me, lunch alone is worth it.

With lunch over and everyone sated the so called formal portion of the day got under way. Announcements began with information on three new BNAPS books being published in June and BNAPEX 2017 CALTAPEX in Calgary on Labour Day week-end. David Hobden gave us a rundown on the PHSC Symposium being held in Hamilton July 20 - 23 and Rob Leigh told us a bit about the different features of the PHSC website. Then came the auction, somewhat of a fun time in addition to raising a little expense fund.

The speaker for the day was Mike Street, who presented Owen White’s 'Y' Force, The Canadian Army in Jamaica during World War II. Owen, who is no longer able to make public presentations, gave the Golden Horseshoe Regional Group permission to show the PowerPoint program he had put together. It generatedsome discussion and questions that we may have answers for in September. Thanks Mike for doing this, and thanks to Simon Claughton for providing the electronics.

At our next meeting on September 30 guest speaker Sam Chiu will tell us the philatelic story of “Force C”, the Canadian Army troops sent in 1941 to help reinforce the garrison at Hong Kong. If they were lucky, those who survived the invasion spent the rest of the war in extremely difficult conditions in Prisoner of War camps. Mark it on your calendar. Please also be reminded that we are in need of speakers. Every collector has something to talk about, so please contact me at

Hope you are having a good summer and that we’ll see you at BNAPEX 2017 CALTAPEX in Calgary.

Saturday, 25 March 2017 meeting

Nine days into spring and whatever snow was left was quickly melting away. One could feel the leaves on the trees were getting closer every day. March 25th was a fine day.

Despite the fact there was a large philatelic and numismatic show going on in Toronto, twenty members made it out to the Rousseau House Restaurant for the meeting. They had the opportunity of going through a large box of covers donated to the group and picking out what they found desirable for twenty-five cents per cover. That kept most people occupied until noon.

Lunch is always a special time. The food is good, the conversations are pleasant and all in all there is a very warm feeling in the room. After lunch, we get down to the more structured part of the day, if one wants to refer to it as such. Announcements are made, and Mike brings us up to date on the BNAPS books that have been published and any that are about to be published, as well as BNAPEX convention news. Other members announce events in their clubs or localities. There’s always a little humor that goes into the auction. We thank those who provided the material and also those who had successful bids.

Our speaker for the day was Stuart Keeley, whose subject was the Cinderella labels produced for and by philatelic exhibitions in Canada between 1925 and 1972. It was an eye opener to learn of the huge number of items and designs. Thank you Stuart and thanks also to Simon Claughton for making available the necessary electronics.

Our next meeting will be May 27, 2017 and the speaker will be Mike Street. He will be presenting Owen White’s 'Y’ Force, the Canadian Army in Jamaica 1940 - 1946. This being the last meeting before the summer break, we look forward to a good turn-out. Also think about attending BNAPEX 2017 CALTAPEX in Calgary from September 1 - 3. In addition to regular Air Canada and WestJet flights from Toronto, WestJet flies to Calgary several times a day from both Hamilton and London.

The Golden Horseshoe Group is looking for people to give fresh presentations. We really enjoy hearing all about your specialties and believe that we can all learn something from each other. Contact Peter McCarthy about a date. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you May 27th. Remember, once you enter the venue, you will never be a stranger.

Saturday, 28 January 2017 meeting

Saturday, January 28 was a pretty good day. Unlike the rest of the country, our lawns were basically green. Although the day was gray, there was no snow to shovel. That probably had a lot to do with the thirty enthusiastic philatelists who showed up at the Rousseau House Restaurant for a pleasant day of philately and companionship. We were pleased to have with us Dave Bartlet, BNAPS Vice President Regional Groups, who is also very actively involved with BNAPEX 2017 CALTAPEX being held in Calgary on Labour Day week-end, September 1 - 3 inclusive.

Coffee is always welcomed on arrival, and then the dealer boxes get well looked over. There’s always a treasure to be found. Other members share items they have found, things that don’t necessarily have monetary value but are none the less worthy of philatelic study. The morning interaction provides a nice warm atmosphere.

After a delicious lunch, we got into some of the more formal activities. Mike Street started things off with new BNAPS book announcements. A study group promotion was given and newsletters were made available showing the advantage of study groups and encouraging the membership to provide articles, thereby assisting the editors. It is one way of getting something from your study group.

The auction is always a fun part of the afternoon, and the proceeds help take care of our expenses. We thank those who donated items and also the successful bidders for providing a new home for good material.

Our speaker this day was Ken Lemke, whose subject was Grand Trunk Railway view cards in the Victorian and Edward VII periods. The presentation was very informative, with Ken detailing not only the production and printing processes but also the uses of the cards. His exhibit was awarded silver at BNAPEX 2016 FREDERICTON and vermeil at CANPEX 2016. Not bad for a first time exhibitor. Our appreciation is extended to Ken and our thanks go also to Simon Claughton for providing the electronics.

Our next gathering is Saturday, March 25, when the speaker will be Stuart Keeley, who will describe the varied world of Canadian Cinderella stamps, aka non-postal labels. We look forward to seeing as many of you as can possibly make it. If you have never been to a regional group meeting, now is your opportunity. You will not be allowed to be a stranger.

Saturday, 26 November 2016 meeting

November 26, 2016 provided us with a great drive to Ancaster where the Golden Horseshoe Regional Group meets. Despite being in conflict with at least one area show, twenty-five members and guests enjoyed a wonderful day of philatelic companionship.

The morning session is quite informal. People casually drift in and are greeted with coffee and pleasant chatter. It is also time spent with the dealers who are present. We also have the opportunity of looking over the menu the Rousseau House puts together specially for our group.

The more formal part of the day (if you want to call it that) begins after lunch with announcements. On this day, we welcomed new BNAPS member Marcel Mongeon and sadly reported the passing away of Colin Pomfret. Mike Street talked about three new books that were then at the printer for December release. More information is available in BNA Topics and through Sparks Auctions, the distributor of BNAPS books. He also gave a report on BNAPEX 2016 held in Fredericton. Everyone who was there agreed it was a blast. Ron Smith and his team did a great job, and deserve all the congratulations they receive. We said earlier that each person attending the November meeting would receive a gift and it happened. Everyone in attendance received a Golden Horseshoe Regional Group calendar for 2017. We have a few left so if you would like one, send Peter McCarthy an email at and I’ll put one aside for you to pick up at the January meeting.

For the auction, we rely on member donations and are very grateful both for what we receive from our members and to those members who provide new homes for these items. This month was no exception, we had a good auction.

Every meeting’s feature is of course our speaker. This month David McLaughlin spoke on the proof material of the Maple Leaf issue of 1897-1898. David’s exhibits have garnered Golds, Reserve Grand and Grand awards. His knowledge of the Queen Victoria Maple Leaf and Numeral issues makes his presentations very interesting, and we thank him for this. We also extend our thanks to Simon Claughton for providing the electronics for our programs.

Our next meeting will be January 28, 2017, at our usual place, the Rousseau House Restaurant in Ancaster. Our speaker will be Ken Lemke, whose subject will be The Grand Trunk Railway postal stationery postcards.

Saturday, 17 September 2016 meeting

Because BNAPEX 2016 is being held from September 30 to October 2, we advanced our September gathering to the 17th so convention goers could also attend the GHRG. It rained for a good part of the day which, along with the very interesting program, may have helped attendance. Twenty-eight members and guests enjoyed the dry, warm interior of our favourite haunt, the Rousseau House Restaurant. For the second time this year, we had a long distance visitor from Alberta, this time Earle Covert, who was driving through to Fredericton.

After a three month hiatus, the members seemed keen to get caught up with each other’s comings and goings during the summer and to get into the two dealers’ stocks. BNAPEX 2016 seemed to be high on the list of discussion also. Before we knew it, lunch was being served, and a good lunch it was.

Three new BNAPS books have been published; you can read up on them on the BNAPS website or in the upcoming BNA Topics. CANPEX 2016, a new national level show, takes place in London October 15-16. The Secretary/Treasurer announced his retirement after this season. The hunt is on and hopefully someone will come forward before the end of May 2017.

We had a small auction, with twelve lots offered. We look forward to donations of material to help make the day interesting and cover expenses. We do thank those contributors.

The main feature of GHRG meetings is always our speakers, and this day was no exception. Sam Chiu gave a presentation of the postal history of the Chinese Labour Corps and their participation as hired workers behind the lines during World War I. Close to 150,000 of them were transported by sealed train across Canada before boarding ships for Belgium and France. It was most interesting and enlightening. Sam has been quite instrumental in bringing this segment of postal history to the fore through his passionate collecting and writing. Thank you, Sam.

Our thanks are also extended to Simon Claughton for providing the electronic equipment that goes a long way in making presentations that much more interesting.

Our next gathering will be on November 26. The speaker will be David McLaughlin, whose topic will be announced at a later date. Also at that meeting, the first forty-five people attending will receive a Christmas gift, so keep the date in mind. Remember, once you enter the Rousseau House, you are no longer a stranger.

GHRG Meeting Reports 2016 – 2018

Meeting reports

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